Divorce Advice For Finding Home Sweet Home
by Caleb Anderson, freelance writer
One thing that worries people in the midst of a divorce most is living arrangements. Splitting property, assets, finances, and other possessions is not a fun or easy process, but it is necessary. Fortunately, there are some ways to make the process of transferring property, making new living arrangements, and moving out a little less painful.
1. Transfer Property Using a Quitclaim Deed
Transferring property in the midst of a divorce is a process that takes time. If you purchased property or a home jointly, both names will be on the deed, title, and mortgage. Once you agreed on which spouse will keep the house, it should be expressly stated in the divorce decree.
However, you also need to ensure that the spouse who gives up ownership of the home signs a quitclaim deed to prove the other spouse is the sole owner. The quitclaim deed is a legal document that transfers the departing ex-spouse’s interest in the home to the ex-spouse receiving the home in the divorce. In fact, some people sign quitclaim deeds every time they sell property so they have a legal document proving they have relinquished ownership so they have peace of mind.
In the case of a divorce, the quitclaim deed will match the divorce decree and prove you are the sole owner so that you can go to your lender and local municipality and request they remove your spouse’s name from the loan and title. Many people overlook quitclaim deeds in the chaos of a divorce, but it is a document that makes life easier moving forward.
2. Finding a New Home in the Midst of a Divorce
When the time does come to find a new home, you should focus on moving to a new house that will feel like home. If you want a large kitchen, make that a priority. If you have children, involve them in looking for a home by asking if they have any requests such as a large family room or backyard. If you do your best to find a house that fits your desires and involve children in the process, moving will be a more positive experience. Highlight the bonuses of the new home and allow your children to choose the wall color for their bedrooms and help decorate to ease the transition to the new home.
3. Moving Out
Moving out becomes easier if you and your ex-spouse make moving plans part of the divorce decree. For example, you need to be thorough when dividing property and belongings. While your wounds may be fresh, you do not want to regret agreeing to allow your ex-spouse to keep all the sentimental items. Your children will relish the memories the items represent, and in time, you will appreciate having them. You also should make provisions for packing dates and move-out dates, especially if you want space from your ex-spouse. Set aside several hours to pack and move. If you and your ex-spouse need to be present at the same time, ask some neutral friends to help you pack and move to make the process easier for yourself.
Spouses need to follow the divorce decree to the letter. Do not remove any items from the home or make any changes to it until the divorce is final unless you have made special provisions to do so in the divorce decree. Most importantly, you should not move out until the agreed-upon date; you may not want to co-habitate any longer than you have to, but it can be difficult to get back into the home if you move out early. Even if the divorce is amicable, you should stick to the written agreement to avoid any potential arguments or problems, especially if you and your spouse have children.
Divorces are difficult, and leaving a home you love is painful. But, if you sign a quitclaim deed to relinquish ownership of the property, find a new house that feels like home, and make moving out part of the divorce decree, you will set yourself up to make moving forward easier for everyone.